Millennials need another lame dating trend like we need another hole in the head. But guess what? We've got one! You may not have been asking for it, but it's a thing, anyway. Brace yourself, because there's a whole new way that the person you are interested in can now treat you like trash.
It's called "breadcrumbing." Breadcrumbing, according to the Urban Dictionary is “the act of sending out flirtatious, but non-committal text messages (ie "breadcrumbs") in order to lure a sexual partner without expending much effort." In other words, breadcrumbing is leading someone on.
If someone is breadcrumbing you, they'll send you random texts or like your stuff on social media every now and then. It's always just enough for you to not lose interest in them, but never enough to lead up to an actual date. You stay interested in them, because the other person keeps on showing you interest. It's just the bare minimum amount of interest.
The worst thing about breadcrumbing is, the people who do it almost have a sixth sense about when you're ready to move on. The very moment you're done with that person and their sick games... BAM! Another like on your Facebook status. You don't know how to quit them, because they won't let you.
Do you keep on getting sporadic flirty text messages from someone you went out with once six months ago? Does it seem like they're checking up on you every four weeks in the most noncommittal way possible? And when you ask them if they ever want to meet up again sometime are they suddenly vague about plans? Sorry, you're being breadcrumbed.
Does the other person keep on liking your Instagram photos - but only the photos where you look hot? Do they sometimes leave flirtatious comments on said hot Instagram photos? Do you think that you might have a chance with them because of said comments on said photos? When you actually say something about it, do they not say anything back? Yup, that's breadcrumbing.
Why do people breadcrumb? Besides the fact that they're garbage? Sometimes people breadcrumb you because they want to keep you "on hold." Like if someday they decided they actually wanted to do something with you, you would be there for them. All of those breadcrumbs they left would be a trail right back to their heart.
Someone could also be breadcrumbing you because even though they're not interested in you, they're interested in having you still interested in them. They want you to still think about them. They're not in love with you, they're in love with the idea of you being in love with them. It's the ultimate, "It's not you, it's me."
Breadcruming is worse than ghosting. At least with ghosting you know where you stand (once you've figured out the other person isn't responding to any of your texts). With breadcrumbing, you always think you have a shot with the other person. They're constantly giving you a sliver of hope every 2 to 4 weeks, almost like clockwork.
No matter how much they think that eventually they'll come around and date you, they're never going to do it. You think that you have an open window, but it's all a lie. That door is slammed shut right in your face. They're constantly giving you false hope.
There's nothing you can do but suffer through their torture. Because they're definitely not going to do you. Not that they've made that clear or anything... Breadcrumbing gives a whole other dimension to mixed signals!
But the upside to breacrumbing - and yes, there is one - is that it can only work if you go along with it. If you don't engage in their game, they'll have no one to play with. There's one simple tactic for dealing with someone's who's breadcrumbing you...
Call the other person out on what they're doing. Be blunt, honest and direct. You know, the opposite of what they're being with you. If you let them know where you stand, they'll have no choice but to let you know where you stand with them. Either they'll realize that you don't like it and stop, or get super scared of you and stop. Either way you win.
You'll be free from their spell and you can move on to someone who actually wants to date you, instead of getting stuck on someone who's leading you on. Because even the hell of being single is better than getting stuck in dating limbo. You deserve better than a string of someone's crumbs!